Friday, October 24, 2008

Arrest of Hindraf Group

I received a text messages last night on the arrest of Hindraf supporters and was very disturbed by it. I made a few calls to verify the story. This is not something we need right now.

According to STAR, twelve people, including a six-year-old child, “representing Hindraf” were arrested outside the Prime Minister’s Office at Putrajaya yesterday. One of the three women picked up was K.Shanti, wife of Hindraf chairman P.Wathyamoorthy and the child is believed to be his daughter, Vwaishhnavi.

I am sure the police have the legal justification to make the arrest. However, I can’t comprehend the wisdom or rather the lack thereof, in making the arrest. I doubt if Hindraf supporters posed a security threat to the Prime Minister. We are not sure if the police were ‘provoked’ to make the arrest but in any event a softer approach in dispersing the supporters would have been commendable.

I was relieved to find out later that at least K.Shanti and Vwaishhnavi were subsequently released. Ten others were detained. It was reported that the supporters claimed that they came in their “individual capacity and not under the banner of Hindraf”.

Be that as it may, there are few questions that need to be answered.

In the first place, was there a real and urgent need to arrest the supporters? Wouldn’t a softer approach suffice under the present situation? The arrest would only further fuel the anger of Indian Community towards the government. Secondly, what is the need to arrest the women, even more so, the child Vwaishhnavi?

The government should not be surprised by the unconventional method used by Hindraf supporters. What do you expect from family members and supporters of those that are detained without trial? Had the government not resorted to detention without trial under ISA, those gathered at Putrajaya would not have had the moral platform to ‘appeal’ to the Prime Minister directly.

On the other side of the coin, there are also a few questions that need to be answered by those gathered at Putrajaya.

Why on earth do you need to “deliver their Deepavali wishes” to a man that does not celebrate it? Wasn’t enough damage done to their own cause by delivering “Hari Raya Wishes” at PWTC a few weeks ago? Please, the PM wasn’t even home. He is in China right now.

Why drag a six year old child into all these? Yes, the sight of a six year old will tug everyone’s heart string but hasn’t this sentiment been used once too often? What about the emotional scars that might haunt the girl when she grows up? We do not know for sure whether it will, but shouldn’t the girl be spared the pain when there is doubt?

And whose idea was it to say that they came “in their individual capacity?” The authorities are not THAT stupid! Yeah, now they have arrested everyone to verify if they came under Hindraf or under their individual capacity.

And who gets blamed for all this? MIC of course!


Murugesan Sinnandavar

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Story of a Little Boy

I am aware that it has been quiet a while since I last posted an article here. It was partly due to the unexpected surge of workload at my Firm and also because I wanted to pay a little more attention to other aspects of my life beside politics. I took my children and nephews for a long overdue camping trip. There were a few books that I was reading and wanted to complete...

The other day I came across a very interesting story. It was a story of a little boy. A true story. This little boy picked up an interest in music. For several years, he had been learning to play the cornet. He persisted, putting in hours of practice at home each day, and there came a time, after many painful hours of practice peppered with criticism from his mother, that he was rewarded by being chosen to participate in his school's Armistice Day Ceremony.

Each year on November 11, the entire school went down to the gym for a ceremony honouring the nation's fallen soldiers. In what had become a school tradition, trumpet players stationed at doors on either side of the gym would alternate playing "Taps," one blowing the first
dum da dum notes, and the other echoing dum da DUM, and so on.

That year, this boy's cornet skills had advanced enough for him to be given the part of the echo. He woke up the morning of the event, exhilarated at the prospect of performing in front of the entire school. When the big moment came, he was ready.

As the little boy stood in the doorway with his cornet, the first trumpet player sounded,
Dum da DUM.

But on the second
dum, he hit a wrong note.

"My whole life flashed before my eyes, because I didn't know what to do with the echo. They hadn't prepared me for this. Paralyzed - my big moment" recounted the little boy years later.

Should he copy the other trumpet player's mistake or embarrass him by contradicting what he's played? The little boy was undone. The scene scalded itself permanently into his memory. What he did next he can't remember - had become a blank.

But that little boy learned a valuable lesson that day:

It might seem easier to go through life as the echo - but only until the other guy plays a wrong note.

It is a lesson that will serve all of us well. Often, either by choice, circumstances or sheer force of habit, we end up playing the 'echo'.

That little boy grew up to be the most successful investor of all time and the richest man in the world a few years running. That little boy's name is Warren Buffet.

Deepavali is just a few days away. Lets put away our differences, even if temporarily, during this Festival of Lights, and allow time for healing.

For all readers and commentators, many thanks for your time, concern, criticism and input. For those that I have offended, I offer my unreserved apologies.

Our heartfelt prayers for those that are separated from their loved ones (and their families) during this Festival of Lights.

I would like to conclude with this Shanti Mantra,

Astoma sadgamaya
Tamasoma jyotirgamaya

Mrutyorma amrutamgamaya

Om shantih, shantih, shantihi

Lead me from the unreal to the real
From darkness to light
From mortality to immortality
Om Peace, Peace, Peace


Murugesan Sinnandavar